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Open Access Research article

Malocclusion, dental aesthetic self-perception and quality of life in a 18 to 21 year-old population: a cross section study

Dikson Claudino and Jefferson Traebert*

Author affiliations

Post-Graduation Programme on Health Sciences, Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina, Tubarão, SC, 88704-900, Brazil

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Citation and License

BMC Oral Health 2013, 13:3  doi:10.1186/1472-6831-13-3

Published: 7 January 2013

Abstract

Background

Aesthetic alterations in the face can be self-perceived and can affect quality of life. For young people, physical attractiveness is an important factor affecting social relationships. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of malocclusion, identify the most common types and test its association with oral aesthetic self-perception in 18 to 21 year-old population of male young adults.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was carried out involving 138 Brazilian Army soldiers. Data collection included socio demographic profile, malocclusion status through the Dental Aesthetic Index (DAI) and oral aesthetic self-perception as indicated by the Oral Aesthetic Subjective Impact Scale (OASIS). The chi-square and Fisher’s exact test were used to test for homogeneity of proportions. The stepwise multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to test for the relationship between the poorer oral aesthetic self-perception and parental and soldier’s education, per capita income, history of caries in all teeth and only on anterior teeth, dental trauma, previous orthodontic treatment and malocclusion.

Results

The prevalence of malocclusion was 45.6%. Incisor teeth crowding and misalignment of lower incisors were the most common types of malocclusions. A statistically significant and independent association between malocclusion and poorer oral aesthetic self-perception in the multivariate analysis was observed. Subjects with severe malocclusion conditions showed 88% higher prevalence [prevalence ratio =1.88 (95% CI, 1.30 – 2.72); p = 0.001] of poorer aesthetic self-perception comparing to those with minor malocclusion.

Conclusions

A high prevalence of malocclusion was observed. The young adults presenting severe malocclusion had a higher and independent prevalence of poorer oral aesthetic self-perception.

Keywords:
Malocclusion; Oral health; Aesthetics; Quality of life